Effects of prenatal alcohol and pair feeding on lipopolysaccharide- induced secretion of TNF-α and corticosterone

Raz Yirmiya, Francesco Chiappelli, Delia L. Tio, Susan H. Tritt, Anna N. Taylor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Fetal alcohol exposure (FAE) produces profound alterations in immunological and neuroendocrine functions. The present study examined the effects of FAE on the secretion of tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) and corticosterone following administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in normal (N) adult rats, in adult offspring of dams fed a liquid diet supplemented with ethanol (E), and in pair-fed control offspring (P). LPS-induced TNF-α secretion was not affected by either gender or prenatal treatment. In contrast, LPS-induced corticosterone secretion was significantly greater in female than in male rats, and at 60-min post-LPS was significantly higher in E and P, compared to N females. Ovariectomy significantly inhibited LPS- induced TNF-α secretion in E, but not in P and N, rats and chronic replacement with 17-β-estradiol markedly inherited TNF-α secretion in ovariectomized E and N, but not in P, rats. In contrast, ovariectomy reduced the effects of LPS on corticosterone secretion in all groups, and chronic replacement with 17-β-estradiol reversed this effect. These findings indicate that LPS-induced secretion of corticosterone, but not TNF-α, is affected by prenatal manipulations and by gender. In addition, alterations in the hormonal environment in females modulate LPS-induced corticosterone secretion in all prenatal treatment groups, but differentially influence TNF- α secretion in rats exposed to alcohol, restricted feeding, or normal diets in utero.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)327-335
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Michelle L. Pilati and Mr. Ngy S. Heng for their assistance and contribution to this study. This research was supported by grants from the NIH/NIAAA (AA09850) and the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Research Service (A. N. T.), and by grant No. 94-62 from the United States–Israel Binational Science Foundation (R. Y. and A. N. T.).


  • Corticosterone
  • Estrogen
  • Fetal alcohol exposure
  • Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)
  • Ovariectomy
  • Prenatal food restriction
  • Tumor necrosis factor-α


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of prenatal alcohol and pair feeding on lipopolysaccharide- induced secretion of TNF-α and corticosterone'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this